Memories from Horst Bratke, Connecticut

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Dear Bernd, I went through some old pictures and came up with a few that were interesting. I can not begin to explain what wonderful memories I have from Schwabach from 1980-82, some of the best people I have met in my life are from these 2 years.

I served in 1/1 Cav A troop 2nd platoon. We spent maybe 4 months a year in Schwabach the rest in the field. So when we were in Schwabach we used to do a lot of partying. We mainly hung out at a place called The Dream in Roth, nothing but great memories there. Just the walk to the Bahnhof with my best friends Rich, Mark, Randy and Don bring a smile to my face. It was always interesting trying to get back from Roth after the last Train left (none of us had a car).
I used to speak ok German back then, so I used to do a lot of translating for my friends. I can still taste Mike's special sub and French fries with cheese to this day, from Mike's Pizza place right outside the front gate.
I went back in 1989 on vacation with my wife but could not bare to go into the base. My family and I reside in Cheshire Connecticut.

Some of the material you have on your site is very interesting. The new mess hall was all new to me. We used to eat in the 2nd building on the left as you go through the gate, in the basement. The ammunition area, we used to call the BLSA(I have no idea what that stands for). I served guard duty there many of days. I have a hard time believing there were nuclear weapons there since guard duty was not in keeping with a nuclear ammonization area. There were 3 guards per shift and we only carried minimum ammunition, but you never know. I remember a local sheep herder used to let at least 100 of his sheep graze in the fenced in ammunition area. That was the Army way of cutting the grass. As I remember at the end of my tour we gave over guard duty of that area to a local company that hired Polish nationals.

I will detail the pictures for you.
1)This is me (Hanging off the Locker) and one of my good friends Mark Wagner. I can tell from seeing other pictures on your site and visiting other bases, O'Brian had some of the worst housing I have ever seen. This room had the shower room right next to it and the water used to leek through the walls. We used to have 5 to 6 guys per room. August 1981.

2) Me and My best friend Randy Longchamps. This was taken at the ammunition Area (BLSA) 12/31/1981 (Happy New Year). This guard shack was right in the middle of the compound. It should not be confused with the 3 high towers on the perimeter of the compound.

5) This was taken at the family housing in February 1981. My Friend Paul Pennick. We used to use this as bachelor pad(not that we had a lot of girls there but we did a lot of drinking) before his family came to Germany.

6)This picture is from the 2nd floor of the "A" troop building which is the 2nd building on the left as you are going through the gate, over looking the base. This was taken August 1981.
8) I don't recall what this girls name was but she was a German girl friend of a Sgt Poole in our headquarters unit. The building over her left shoulder is the "B" troop building the first building on your left as you are going through the gate. You can see the stop sign over her shoulder to the right of that sign is the front gate. The building over that sign was the 1/1 cav Motor Pool. Sept 1981.


Pic 1


Pic 5

Pic 6

Pic 8